Nasdaq OMX Group Inc's (NDAQ.O) quarterly profit declined due to a number of expenses, but when stripping out the one-time charges, the Nasdaq stock market parent beat analysts' expectations.

Nasdaq earned $82 million, or 45 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter, down from $137 million, or 69 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, it earned 63 cents a share, compared to 55 cents in the year prior quarter.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $422 million.

Analysts on average expected the New York-based company to earn 61 cents per share, excluding items, on $417.16 million in revenue.

Investments in new initiatives, contributions from acquisitions, and capital deployment decisions all contributed to our success despite the backdrop of a difficult macroeconomic environment, Bob Greifeld, chief executive of Nasdaq, said in a statement.

Nasdaq, which runs U.S. and Nordic markets, said stock trading revenue was up 2 percent from a year earlier, while derivatives trading and clearing revenues slipped 1 percent due in part to a loss in market share. Market data revenues were up 10 percent due to higher demand.

Total market share of U.S. equity options was 27.2 percent, compared to 31.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Elsewhere, EU antitrust regulators stopped the merger of Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE) and NYSE Euronext (NYX.N) on Wednesday, saying the combined group would have a stranglehold of the listed European futures market and would thwart new entrants.

In the past year the sector has seen three other large deals fail, including one in which Nasdaq was the suitor:

Nasdaq and IntercontinentalExchange Inc's (ICE.N) bid for NYSE Euronext was rejected by the U.S. Department of Justice, London Stock Exchange's takeover of TMX Group was rejected by shareholders of the Toronto Stock Exchange operator, and Singapore Exchange Ltd's (SGXL.SI) bid for Australia's ASX Ltd (ASX.AX) was stopped by the Australian government.